During the approach the ship passes near Moskenesstraumen, a strong tide between Moskenesøy and Vaerøy Islands. This tide is described (somewhat fancifully) by Edgar Allan Poe in his story, “A Descent into the Maelström.”
Sometimes you will be docked, most times (larger cruise ships) you will be tendered. You will be tendered to a pier halfway between Gravdal and Leknes, a six minute ride.
At the Leknes pier a special gift and service shop awaits to suit your needs while visiting, they offer you: • Internet 3.50 euro for 20 minutes • General information • Exchange • Fishing gear rentals • Souvenirs • Post cards • Stamps and post office services.
The views from your ship as well as from the pier are delightful.
If you choose not to take an excursion, you can walk into the town of Leknes from the dock. It is about 4 km into the town and the scenery is fantastic. Taxis are available.
This is the first port above the Arctic Circle, and most cruise lines organize a Midnight Sun party.
Watch a destination video.
Leknes is one of the few towns in Lofoten which is not based upon fisheries and which does not have its town center by the sea. Because of this, and because of its rapid growth in recent years, it does not have the same traditional wooden architecture as most other towns in Lofoten, and may thus not be regarded to be as picturesque as its neighboring fishing villages. However, the natural surroundings are regarded to be among the most stunning in Norway, with mountains, peaks, cliffs and white sandy beaches. The town's harbor Leknes Havn is one of Norway's most important and visited harbors for cruise ships.
The town has less than 3000 inhabitants.
In Leknes, the sun (midnight sun) is above the horizon from May 26 to July 17, and in winter the sun does not rise from December 9 to January 4.
As it is cumbersome to do your own sightseeing, a cruise line's excursion is a good option. Otherwise rent a car in advance.
Keep in mind when booking an excursion, that there is only one road in the Lofoten, so you always be returning the same way as you left.
Shuttles are offered on the pier to Ballstad, an active fishing village. 15 Euro.
Bike rentals are offered at the pier for 21 euro/day.
As the weather in Norway can be very unpredictable, make sure to check the cancellation policies in case of inclement weather. It is no fun doing an excursion in the clouds.
It pays to compare your cruise line tours here
Typical lofoten villages nearby are:
Ballstad is one of the largest and most picturesque fishing village in Lofoten and about an half an hour by bus from Leknes.
Mortsund, today the fish-factory in the port buys cod during the seasonal fishingseason in the winter and hangs the fish to dry for the Italian market, but also makes cod-liver oil and salted fish for Spain and Portugal.
Bus schedules in the Lofoten. Keep in mind the busses depart from Leknes and not from the pier.
The shops will take Euros and sometimes Dollars but they all seem to have their own exchange rates.
The town has a massive mall at the far end that really looks out of place among the small wooden structures. The mall also has a very nice supermarket.
The Norwegian currency is the Norwegian crown (norske krone), abbreviated kr. A 1/100th krone is called øre. 1.00 EUR = about 8 NOK
ATMs in Norway are called Minibank.
Nearly all stores accept major credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa (Bring your passport/driver's license, as you are required to identify yourself when using a credit card).
There is free WiFi at Pepe’s Pizza in town.
Opening hours in Norway are better than they used to be, but many smaller stores still close early on Saturday (1 PM or 3 PM is typical) and nearly everything is closed on Sundays. You'll often see opening hours written as "9-21 (9-18)" on doors, meaning 9 AM to 9 PM weekdays, 9 AM to 6 PM Saturday.
For public holidays click here.
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